Cape Coral considers scrapping parking requirements to make area more pedestrian-friendly

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Parking in South Cape Coral (WINK News)

The City of Cape Coral is in talks to get rid of requirements for developers when it comes to parking spaces.

This is an idea that will contribute to the city’s vision of a more walkable district in South Cape Coral, freeing up future city-owned spots to make room for restaurants, retail and office spaces.

Dick and Jane Kroeze like the idea of a more walkable South Cape. They say they come to the restaurants on SE 47th Terrace quite often.

“We come in and have lunch sometimes, we come for dinner sometimes,” said Jane Kroeze. “It’s absolutely easy right now, getting in and out, finding a spot, it’s great.”

SE 47th Terrace and Cape Coral Parkway are just a couple areas the city is continuing to build up, but in order to progress, they need the space to do it.

So, they’re exploring the idea of establishing a “no parking requirement.”

If staff decides to move forward, developers may no longer be required to build a certain number of parking spaces for businesses. That will leave it up to the developers to decide whether or not they want to build parking.

However, that could mean seeing limited parking in areas like SE 47th Terrace and Cape Coral Parkway as the area expands.

But, without the requirement, the city can fill vacant spaces with more retail and restaurants.

“The ultimate goal is to create a more vibrant South Cape,” said Cape Coral Economic Development Office Manager Ricardo Noguera. “We have several restaurants, we want to see more of a daytime business environment where we have opportunities to attract offices as well as bakeries and other businesses that cater to the daytime traffic.”

It’s not an unusual idea. Other cities across the state are also turning to minimum parking requirements. The City of Clearwater simplified requirements on Clearwater Beach, while Sarasota is still exploring the idea.

Kroeze hopes that as the city continues to grow, it doesn’t limit parking as a whole.

“The main thing is just finding the right balance between having enough variety and businesses and being able to access them easily,” said Jane Kroeze.

The city is still in the process of gathering recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Commission and the CRA. The city also says they are looking into creating a parking garage to accommodate for growth. They will be conducting a parking study over the next six to eight months.

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